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Home » Antenatal Home Care » What is PPROM?

What is PPROM?

PPROM occurs when the membrane around the baby, also called the bag of waters, breaks before 37 weeks gestation. Women with PPROM experience a trickle or gush of fluid from their vagina.  Fluid continues to leak in differing amounts until delivery. 

After PPROM occurs, women are at risk for:

  • Infection
  • Preterm labour and birth
  • Umbilical cord prolapse

Some of the symptoms that women with PPROM may experience are:

Signs of infection including:

  • Temperature above 38 degrees C or 100 degrees F
  • A resting pulse rate above 100 beats per minute
  • A tender or painful abdomen
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • A change in the colour of vaginal discharge from clear or straw coloured
  • Feeling unwell or, like you have the flu

Signs of preterm labour including:

  • Uterine contractions every 10 minutes or less (6 or more per hour)
  • Menstrual like cramps (these may be constant or come and go)
  • Low dull backache
  • Pelvic pressure (the feeling that the baby is pushing down - this may come and go)
  • Abdominal cramping (with or without diarrhea)
  • A change or increase in vaginal discharge

Signs that cord prolapse may have occurred: 

  • A feeling of pressure or "something" in the vagina or between the legs
  • The cord looks like a shiny white and blue twisted rope. This is an emergency - call 911
    • Ensure your door is open for the paramedics
    • Get into a "knee-chest" position to prevent pressure on the cord (see diagram)
Knee-Chest diagram